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The Book

What to Do When You’re New is designed to help you become more comfortable, confident, and successful in new situations.  Whether you are taking a new job, attending a new school, joining a new sports team, or moving to a new neighborhood this book will help you “put yourself out there” and build the relationships you need to achieve your goals and fulfill your dreams.

We’ll explore the science of newcomer success and give you a set of strategies, techniques, and exercises to become:

  • More productive and confident in your new role
  • Better connected to new co-workers, classmates, group members, and neighbors
  • Less anxious and awkward around strangers
  • More willing to seek out those new experiences that make life interesting, rewarding, and fun

The key message of the book is that feeling anxious and reluctant in new situations is completely normal.  It turns out we’re genetically hardwired to be nervous around strangers, and this anxiety is often reinforced by our early childhood experiences.

But through reflection and practice we can get better and more comfortable in new situations.  This book focuses on five critical newcomer skills that are the secret to quickly getting up to speed and being successful when you’re new:

  • Introducing yourself
  • Remembering names
  • Asking questions
  • Starting relationships
  • Performing new things in front of unfamiliar people.

For each skill, you’ll learn why it makes you nervous, and how to become better, more confident, and less reluctant to do it when you’re new. Later in the book you’ll also learn how to help others become better newcomers too.

Click Here to Read Chapter One (PDF)

Table of Contents

Part One: Why New Situations Make Us Nervous

Chapter 1:    Success Starts with Being New
Chapter 2:    Always a Newcomer
Chapter 3:    Nature and Nurture: The Science of Newcomer Anxiety
Chapter 4:    Power of Practice and Reflection

Part Two: Mastering the Five Critical Newcomer Skills

Chapter 5:    Introducing Yourself
Chapter 6:    Remembering Names
Chapter 7:    Asking Questions
Chapter 8:    Starting New Relationships
Chapter 9:    Performing in New Situations

Part Three: Giving Back and Getting Out There

Chapter 10:    Giving Back: Helping Others When They’re New
Chapter 11:    Get Out There and Succeed